EPA Speaks Out on Keystone Pipeline  

The Keystone XL Pipeline, which would carry roughly 830,000 barrels of tar sands crude oil from Alberta, Canada to the Gulf Coast in the US, has been one of the most polarizing issues in American politics over the past few years. Environmentalists recognize that the pipeline will do little more than encourage continued tar sands extraction, one of the most carbon-intensive oil production methods on the planet. Supporters of heavy industry see the pipeline as a crucial piece of infrastructure that will create a more robust economy including jobs and increased energy security (although the Keystone would produce very few permanent jobs). President Obama has stated that the future of the pipeline project depends on whether or not it will contribute further to climate change. This week, the EPA weighed in on the State Department’s environmental impact statement, using authority granted by the Clean Air Act (CAA) and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The letter sent to the State Department from the EPA outlines their findings that the pipeline would indeed contribute to climate change. The production, transport, and refining processes, and the burning of the final product would result in an additional 1.3 -27.4 million metric tons of CO2 each year. On the high end, that’s equivalent to the GHG emissions from 5.7 million passenger vehicles or 7.8 coal-fired power plants. With oil prices currently lower than most economists expected, construction of the pipeline would make it cheaper […]

Read More →

President Obama clears the air on Keystone XL

  For many months, it’s been hard to determine the President’s exact position on the Keystone XL pipeline.  The President has frequently said that he is relying on the State Department’s review of the pipeline in order for the Secretary of State to decide whether to approve or reject it, and that review has been delayed several times. However, with the House of Representatives’ vote today in favor of the Keystone XL, the President made his clearest statement yet on the pipeline, and it was breath of fresh air.  According to the Washington Post: In a news conference Friday in Burma, the president rejected two of the most frequent arguments the project’s proponents have made on its behalf, saying he had “to constantly push back against this idea that somehow the Keystone pipeline is either this massive jobs bill for the United States or is somehow lowering gas prices.” “It is providing the ability of Canada to pump their oil, send it through our land down to the Gulf where it will be sold to everyone else,” he said. “It doesn’t have an impact on U.S. gas prices.” These are two of the most potent critiques of the pipeline, and are completely based in fact.  Analysis from Cornell Global Labor Institute demonstrates that the Keystone XL will only produce 35 permanent jobs.  No one disputes that oil produced by the Keystone XL is destined for boats that will take if […]

Read More →

State Department on Keystone XL Pipeline: Contributes to Climate Change

KXL

Late in the day on Friday, January 31, 2014 the State Department released its Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement for the Keystone XL Project. The new report contains the important statement that “The total direct and indirect emissions associated with the proposed Project would contribute to cumulative global GHG emissions.” This is a crucial, over-due acknowledgement by the State Department and […]

Read More →

Keystone XL Decision – in 2014? Or, the President Could Just Say No Now. New Report Reaffirms KXL Fails the Climate Test

Fail

Looks like there will be further delay when it comes to the White House’s determination whether or not to reject the Keystone XL pipeline. Conflicts of interest have come to light that call into question the validity of the latest environmental impact statement on the pipeline. The Office of the Inspector General is investigating concerns that Environmental Resources Management, the […]

Read More →

Oil Spills — There is Damage That Cannot Be Undone

This past weekend’s New York Times article on the environmental, social, psychological, and financial costs of oil spills is a sobering reminder of the vast toll on people and planet when oil spills occur. As President Obama considers whether or not to approve the dirty tar sands Keystone XL pipeline, the lessons of recent heavy, Canadian crude oil disasters are grounds enough for saying no. After three years of clean-up, the Enbridge Energy spill in the Kalamazoo River and Talmadge Creek in Michigan is still not complete. The spill is the company’s largest. Enbridge believes that clean-up costs will approach $1 billion. The long clean-up time and staggering costs are not surprising if you consider that the more than 840,000 gallons of oil released were heavy crude that is extra difficult to clean up. As reported in the Times article, “The (Environmental Protection Agency) estimated that 180,000 had most likely drifted to the bottom, more than 100 times Enbridge’s projection.” And more recently this past spring in Arkansas, an ExxonMobil spill of heavy, Canadian crude oil dumped approximately 210,000 gallons in a residential neighborhood. Residents, the State of Arkansas, and the Justice Department are all involved in litigation against ExxonMobil for damages. Why would take on additional oil spill risks with heavy Canadian crude when we cannot cope with existing spills? The contamination of the natural environment endures, and as one affected resident in Michigan summed it up,” There are […]

Read More →

Another Symbolic House Vote for the Keystone XL

As the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline undergoes its second State Department review, the House of Representatives took yet another vote to try to force the pipeline project to move forward. On May 22, the House voted 241-175 in favor of legislation (H.R. 3) to thwart the President’s decision-making authority on the pipeline and expedite construction. The Administration has yet to announce its position on the pipeline which would further entrench our fossil fuel-based economy. This time around the vote received less Democratic support than past, similar bills on the KXL have garnered. Nineteen Democrats supported the legislation introduced by Rep. Lee Terry (R-NE) and one Republican voted “present” rather than for or against the bill. The White House has stated that it would veto the bill were the Senate to pass it. The Senate might defeat the measure if it comes to a vote – yet if it passed the Senate there are not sufficient votes to over-ride a Presidential veto. http://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/05/23/1211165/-Nineteen-House-Democrats-vote-to-take-authority-over-Keystone-XL-decision-away-from-the-president As reported in the Daily Kos, Oil Change International found that “supporters (of the KXL legislation) have taken six times more campaign contributions from the oil industry than did the opponents, a total of $56 million.”   Green America strongly urges President Obama to act on his commitment to addressing climate change and to oppose the Keystone XL pipeline for the sake of present and future human and environmental health. We haven’t a moment to lose in shifting […]

Read More →

Call Your Representative Today! Still NO! on the Keystone XL Pipeline

It’s time to whip out those talking points against the Keystone XL Pipeline yet again — the House is expected to vote, likely this week, on legislation it’s tried to pass before to expedite construction of the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. As with the past House legislation, the Republicans’ goal is to undercut President Obama’s decision-making authority on the pipeline and to try to force the pipeline project to move ahead.  Because the proposed pipeline is an international (US-Canadian) project, it requires approval by the Administration. The measure is anticipated to be fully supported by Republicans and it might garner some Democratic support as well. Fortunately, this push for more fossil fuel is unlikely to advance in the Senate. We need to maintain pressure against the KXL – from concerned individuals, businesses, investors, religious leaders, students, and everyone who recognizes the need to focus our nation on renewable energy development. The pipeline has dire implications for climate change, human health, the environment, and the U.S. economy. Extracting dirty, Canadian tar sands oil, transporting it through the U.S., and exporting much if it via the Texas Gulf Coast is an irresponsible strategy….unless you represent Big Oil. It does not serve the interests of the U.S. public that will have to endure oil spills, health problems, and rising fuel costs in Midwestern states that could lead to increased unemployment. It does not serve the interests of the Cree, Dene and Métis […]

Read More →